Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle Review: A Classic Style with Modern Updates

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The Lowdown

For me, the Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle’s riding comfort is its biggest selling point; the bike also looks cool and rides well, but most importantly, it is quite comfortable for someone like me that’s a bit older and isn’t a serious bike rider. If you fall into that category or simply want an eBike that is proficient but doesn’t break the bank, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Overall
4

Pros

  • Classic beach cruiser design
  • Can be used as a pedal only, throttle only, or pedal assist bike
  • Includes rear rack, fenders, a bell, and a kickstand
  • Comfortable to ride
  • Easy to set up and get riding
  • Decent distance per charge
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Some small quality-control issues
  • Small motor offers limited assistance on steep hills
  • No suspension system
Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle Review: A Classic Style with Modern Updates Listen to this article

The Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle is a beach cruiser-style bike with a 250W electric motor to assist you on your journeys. While it has an MSRP of $1511, it is currently on sale for just $799.99. That makes it an absolute bargain. It is a good eBike but, as we will see, it is far from perfect.

When I was a kid, I had a ten-speed road bike that served me well for years. I had not ridden a bike in quite some time, and when I began dipping my toe back into the biking world, I found that a cruiser-style bike was now my preference.

I like the upright position when riding, the wide seat, and the solid frame of a beach cruiser. The Swagtron EB11 gives me the beach cruiser style I prefer with the added convenience of a motor for pedal-assist riding.

Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle

The EB11 has a 250W motor. In most cases, that is fine for a Class 1 or Class 2 eBike that isn’t expected to go over 20 miles per hour. It is, in fact, best suited for riding at speeds slower than 20 miles per hour.

I mention the 250W motor up front for a specific reason. You see, when Swagtron reached out and offered the opportunity to review the newest products, they sent me both the EB11 and the Swagcycle Pro.

The Swagcycle Pro is an unusual bike as it lacks pedals; that means it is a bike that relies solely on the throttle for power. The Pro version is more powerful than the company’s original Swagcycle release and has a 350W motor. I loved the bike, but my weight (about 190 pounds) and the large hills in my area were too much for the motor. It simply couldn’t make it up the hills.

Zek was kind enough to take it and do the review. Between Zek’s lower weight and the fact that they primarily use it at the beach where there are few hills, the Swagcycle Pro was a winner. You can read the full review here. If Swagtron releases a version with a more powerful motor, I’ll likely be the first in line to buy one. It is super fun to ride and is small enough to fold up and throw in the trunk of a car.

I was worried that the EB11’s smaller 250W motor would make it unusable, but because it also has pedals, it works just fine for me. We’ll get back to that in a bit.

The Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle's seat

As I mentioned, the EB11 is a beach cruiser-style bike. The seat is wide and comfortable.

Man sitting on the Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle

The upright handlebars are comfortable; using the included wrench, I could adjust them to a comfortable angle.

Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle Review: A Classic Style with Modern Updates

I wasn’t sure what to expect from an eBike that is currently available for under $800. When it arrived, I was pleasantly surprised. The bike is solid, the components seem more than adequate, and it even came with some “extras” I didn’t expect.

For example, the bike ships with fenders, a bell, a kickstand, and a rear rack; many eBikes lack one or more of those accessories. This, in turn, becomes a hidden expense that makes the purchase of a bike more than it might otherwise appear.

The Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle's front wheel

That’s the good news. The bad news is that the fenders are thin metal. Mine arrived with a few dings already present, and the fenders have picked up additional dings along the way.

Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle Review: A Classic Style with Modern Updates

Similarly, while totally functional, the kickstand is made from thin metal and feels fairly cheap.

Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle Review: A Classic Style with Modern Updates

Finally, the rear rack, which is great to have, lacks any anchor points, which makes it challenging if you want to add a basket or some other accessory for carrying your gear.

There’s other news that, while not bad, is worth noting. For example, the powered coating on the bike looks fantastic but chips easily.

Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle Review: A Classic Style with Modern Updates

The rear rack on my review sample had already lost some of the coating. A black marker let me fill in the spots where the metal was showing through. It makes it look better at a distance but is easily seen when you look closely.

I honestly don’t mind these small issues as I see them as one of the ways Swagrton makes this bike so affordable. Other cost-cutting measures the company took are a bit more subtle. The bike is only available in one size and in one color. I assume this is done to keep inventory simple and, in turn, costs down.

So far, it might sound like I’m not a fan of the bike, but that is not the case. I like it quite a bit, but it is important for potential consumers to know what they are getting when they spend hard-earned money.

So let’s talk about the bike’s technology a bit.

Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle Review: A Classic Style with Modern Updates

Below the rear cargo rack, you’ll find the 36-volt battery. The battery is large enough that you should be able to go as fast as 15.3 miles per hour up to 26 miles per charge using only the throttle.

If you are also pedaling, you should see greater distances per charge. Those figures are, however, based on optimal conditions. Between my weight and the hills in my town, I don’t expect I would see anything close to that.

The lithium-ion battery charges in just five hours using the induced AC power cord. If you want a greater range, you can either buy an additional power cord or, if you want to go to the expense, an extra battery.

Theoretically, removing the battery is as easy as using the included key to unlock it and then sliding it out of its compartment. I say “theoretically” because the battery on my review sample simply refused to come loose despite numerous attempts.

I don’t really mind since the battery is locked in place and can’t be stolen, but anyone who wants the convenience of a second battery should make sure their new bike doesn’t have this issue.

The gear shifter on the Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4

The bike has a Shimano 7-speed index gear system. It shifts from one gear to the next smoothly and is quite responsive. That’s important since you may find that you want to simply ride the bike the old-fashioned way and not activate the motor. It rides just fine that way!

Side note: Removing the battery will reduce the bike’s weight significantly. That’s another reason you might want to ensure the battery comes out easily when you get yours.

Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle Review: A Classic Style with Modern Updates

The frame of the bike is light but quite solid. I love the look of the black powder coating combined with the white tires with yellow accents. I think it looks rather cool. If, however, that’s not the look you want, you might check out one of the company’s other offerings, as some do come in additional colors.

Swagtron describes the handlebar as a “deep, swept-back handlebar for a relaxed posture.” I agree and find the positions of it quite comfortable.

On the left side of the handlebar, there is a small bell. That’s yet another example of an extra that Swagtron includes! Next to it is the small LED controller. The display isn’t large, but it is bright enough to read easily, even in full sun. A power button and two additional buttons allow you to select one of three levels of pedal assist.

Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle Review: A Classic Style with Modern Updates

As previously noted, the 26″ wheels have white walls and a yellow accent that adds a fair degree of visual interest. At 2.125″ wide, the tires are neither as thin as a street racer nor as wide as a bike with fat tires.

For me, they hit the sweet spot and offer plenty of shock-absorption when riding over the cracks and imperfections of our New Jersey roads. That’s especially important since the EB11 has no shocks built into the frame, as you might find on other electric bikes.

Still, between the wide tires and the spring-supported saddle seat, I find the ride to be fairly smooth except under the worst road conditions.

Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle Review: A Classic Style with Modern Updates

The direct-pull brakes are probably the least expensive braking system the company could have put into the bike. They work, but they do generate some noise when activated, and they do not stop the bike as quickly as I might hope.

Once I became familiar with the bike and adjusted my riding based on that knowledge, I didn’t have any issues. It simply means that, on steep hills, I need to begin my breaking a bit earlier than I might otherwise need to do.

All of the metal components used in the construction of the EB11 are made from steel, while the handlebars, rims, and braking hardware are made from aerospace-grade 6061 tempered aluminum. The result is a bike that feels quite solid yet weighs just over 50 pounds.

The EB11 looks like a classic beach cruiser but has the added benefit of the motor. As Swagtron puts it,

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Bringing the fun back into bike riding and injecting it with superior comfort and undeniable style. That’s the essence of the EB11 electric cruiser bicycle from SWAGTRON. It’s our modern take on vintage style, with a 250-watt motor, removeable battery and other powerful features that make biking accessible to a wide range of riders.

There are three main modes for riding this bike.

With the power off, you can ride it as a pedal-only bike. It works fine, although, as previously noted, you might want to pull the battery to save some weight.

Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle Review: A Classic Style with Modern Updates

The right handlebar of the EB 11 is split into two parts. The portion closer to the center is a twist throttle that works quite well. If you are feeling lazy, you can ride it using throttle only and let the rear hub motor do all the work.

I like this design since it gives you a place to rest your hand without the possibility that you might accidentally give the bike some juice when you don’t want it.

Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle Review: A Classic Style with Modern Updates

My right wrist is fused, so I would actually have preferred a throttle that is thumb activated. So while I can easily use the throttle as shipped, and it works just fine, I tied a zip tie around the throttle and positioned the thicker portion close to where my thumb rest. The result is that I could convert the twist throttle into a thumb throttle for under fire cents. It works perfectly.

Finally, there is the pedal assist option. The EB11 offers three levels of pedal assist. At level 1, the bike’s motor provides a bit of assistance as you pedal. It’s not much different than riding the EB11 in pedal-only mode, but that extra bit of help makes for a more relaxed ride.

At level 2, the pedal assist is more noticeable. You still need to exert some effort while riding, but the motor’s help is definitely noticeable.

Finally, at level 3, the bike’s motor offers significant help. What’s particularly noticeable is the fact that, especially at pedal assist level 3, the motor kicks in and stays on with minimal effort on your part.

MORE RIDES — LESS STRESS: Customize your riding experience to your liking with three riding modes: pedal-only, throttle-only or pedal-to-go. Now exploring the park or your neighborhood, even running simple errands, is a breeze. Use pedal-assist and let this battery-powered bike provide the extra ‘oomph’ you need to power through that extra mile without putting extra stress on your knees.

Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle Review: A Classic Style with Modern Updates

For me, pedal assist level 2 is the sweet spot. It makes small hills easier but still gives me a bit of a workout as I ride. When I feel like moving a bit more quickly, I can kick it into pedal assist level 3, but I get far less exercise when I do. Where pedal assist level 3 comes in most handy is on the steep hills in my town.

The 250W motor is not powerful enough to get me up the hill to my home by itself. At the same time, the hill is so steep that it takes a lot of effort to climb it when I’m simply trying to pedal. With the bike in pedal assist 3, however, the combination of the motor and my efforts is sufficient to get me up the hill fairly easily. It still takes effort, but I’m not soaked with sweat when I get home.

Here’s a look at the bike in action.

I like the Swagtron EB11 quite a bit. My review sample arrived with minor quality-control issues, such as the chipped paint and a missing bolt to secure the front fender. And I would have preferred a larger motor with more torque due to my location, but it is a pleasant, comfortable ride.

The fact that it ships with extras such as the cargo rack, the fenders, and the bell and is currently under $800 makes it an excellent deal. Minor quality-control issues aside, were it to have a larger, more powerful motor, it would get an unqualified recommendation. The smaller, less powerful motor makes me a bit less enthusiastic, but I can still recommend this bike to someone looking to purchase their first eBike.

Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle Review: A Classic Style with Modern Updates

Swagrton focuses on the bike’s comfort when they write,

The EB11’s vintage-style design was engineered for maximum comfort, with a deep-sweep handlebar that helps you ride with a more relaxed posture. No undue strain on your shoulders or lower back. And the seat post height can be adjusted to find the proper fit and make your ride even more comfortable.

For me, the Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle’s riding comfort is its biggest selling point; the bike also looks cool and rides well, but most importantly, it is quite comfortable for someone like me that’s a bit older and isn’t a serious bike rider. If you fall into that category or simply want an eBike that is proficient but doesn’t break the bank, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

The Swagtron EB11 Electric Cruiser Bicycle retails for $1511 (on sale for $799.99 at this writing); it is available directly from the manufacturer.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Classic beach cruiser design; Can be used as a pedal only, throttle only, or pedal assist bike; Includes rear rack, fenders, a bell, and a kickstand; Comfortable to ride; Easy to set up and get riding; Decent distance per charge; Affordable

What Needs Improvement: Some small quality-control issues; Small motor offers limited assistance on steep hills; No suspension system

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.